The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Are you prepared to spend time and money if someone steals your identity?
Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make or until you’re contacted by a debt collector. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record.
It seems as though the Philadelphia area is getting hit with a number of snow storms this winter season. Therefore, I wanted to share a recent article in regards to winter storm preperation. Within the article I share some helpful information that is important to take into consideration during the winter months. One of the most important things to ensure safety this holiday season is to winterize your car. It is also important to prepare a disaster safety kit for your vehicle. You can read more about what to include in your safety kit by clicking here. For a free Pennsylvania auto insurance quote contact a Kimberley Vassal Insurance agent today, 800.511.9377 or visit http://www.kimberleyvassal.com.
The holiday shopping season is here, and the National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales to rise 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion this year. That’s a lot of money being spent on gifts for loved ones, making homes a big target for theft during the holiday season. If you have jewelry, electronics or other big ticket items on your wish list this year, make sure you’re protected long after the gift wrap and ornaments are put away.
Make sure your valuables are covered:
Have the gift appraised. This can help establish the item’s value. If a piece of jewelry is an antique or was purchased several years ago, it will need to be appraised for a dollar value. While it might be difficult to put a price tag on sentimental value, this is a necessity to ensure your priceless possessions are accounted for and protected.
Check your insurance coverage. Review your current policy to make sure your valuables are covered. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do include coverage for expensive personal items but many policies will limit the reimbursement amount if they are stolen. In this case, you might want to purchase an additional rider to expand the coverage on the policy.
Consider expanded policy coverage. For an additional premium (the amount paid for coverage), you can increase your coverage limits for each theft loss. Your insurance agent can help you decide what makes sense, based on the value of your items.
Keep your store receipt. Save it with your home inventory records and take a picture of the item. Photos and documentation will help speed up the claims process if you ever have to file one.
Store the item in a secure location. If it’s something that you don’t use on a regular basis, you may want to consider keeping it in a safe deposit box. Otherwise, use an in-home lock box.
Get a home security system. Consider installing a home security system for added protection. Many times, just having a sign in your yard from the home security company is enough to dissuade intruders.
Alert the authorities and your insurance agent. Should your items go missing or you suspect theft, fill out a police report and alert your insurance agent right away. This will speed up the claims process and will probably increase the likelihood of getting your personal items returned.
Buying life insurance rarely makes the top 10 on our to-do lists and we have plenty of excuses as to why. Here are top reasons people push it off, and why that might not be the best idea:
“I’m covered through work.” Employer-sponsored life insurance is a great benefit to have. But work benefits are usually limited. What’s more, they don’t automatically go with you if you change or lose a job.
“I’m healthy.” The fact is, the best time to buy life insurance is when you’re in good health. The younger you are and the healthier you are, the better your rates will be.
“I’m not insurable.” Most of us are never as healthy as we want to be. But you might be surprised to find out that you are, in fact, insurable, regardless of age or health. It’s worth it just to ask.
“It’s too expensive.” There are many types of life insurance available, and there’s usually something that will fit in everyone’s budget. Once you break it down, life insurance is basically a dollars-a-day expense.
“I’m single and don’t have children.” Not being married or having little ones around now doesn’t mean there aren’t other plans in store for you in the future. Plus, if you are in your 20s or 30s and have debts such as a car and a home, it’s good to get insured now while the cost is the most reasonable.
Figure out how much your stuff is worth. “There is value to everything when it comes to renters insurance,” says Terry McConnell, vice president, Personal Lines Underwriting, at ERIE.. “Most people underestimate the value of their contents, but once they itemize them, they realize there’s a dramatic difference from what they initially thought.”
Decide between actual cash value and replacement cost. Actual cash value takes depreciation into account when calculating the worth of your belongings. So if you bought a brand new laptop for $1,000 five years ago, you’ll only be reimbursed for what the laptop is worth in today’s dollars minus depreciation. Replacement cost is a better option: It reimburses you for the original value of the item (or one of similar kind and quality at today’s replacement cost if the item is no longer available) and costs only slightly more than actual cash value.
Choose a deductible. Think about how much premium savings you’d want from picking a higher deductible and how much you could afford to pay out of pocket should you experience a loss.
Think about extra protection for any valuables. If you own pricey items like jewelry, furs or silverware, you’ll probably want to add an endorsement to your renters insurance policy to make sure they’re fully covered.
Pick a liability limit. “Think about all the ways you could accidentally hurt someone,” says McConnell, “and you’ll see there are many.” If your dog bites another animal or person, you’ll be held responsible, for example. That kind of lawsuit can get pretty costly if the injured person has any long-lasting physical scars or impairments. (If you’re concerned about having enough liability protection, consider an umbrella policy that offers an extra $1 to $5 million in coverage.)